As One Without Authority
In his landmark “As One Without Authority,” originally published in 1971 and updated by Chalice Press in three decades later, legendary preacher Fred B. Craddock explores the state of American preaching with the goal of restoring the power of preaching in shaping our religious lives.
Craddock begins by conceding preaching is viewed by some as outdated and ineffective, with new forms of ministry emerging to meet contemporary needs. He identifies six challenges preachers face:
- The role activism plays in listeners’ expectations of sermons, which have been lowered by years of ineffective preaching;
- The loss of power and meaning in words may lie in the nature of traditional religious language.
- The influence of television changed how our minds process information, weakening our ability to listen to a primarily auditory presentation
- The loss of certainty and the increase of tentativeness on the part of the preacher.
- A completely new relationship between speaker and hearer
- The challenge that has always lurked in preaching: Communication is challenging!
The revitalization of preaching requires more than just a revised understanding of the world. True power will be restored to the pulpit when preaching becomes a catalyst for personal and societal transformation. Expressing optimism that this renewal is imminent Craddock explores the signs that give him hope.